The Most Epic 9 April Fools' Day Hoaxes Of All Time!


Since the 19th century, the First of April has been a day for all kinds of pranks and hoaxes. The tradition is universal, but you have to accept that journalists are way better at this game than others! Here are 9 of the best April Fools' Day Hoaxes generated by clever media people!


1. Smell-o-vision

In 1965, BBC aired an interview with a  professor who supposedly developed an amazing new technology, called "Smell-o-vision," that allowed the transmission of smells over the airwaves. Viewers would now be able to “smell” aromas produced in the television studio in their own homes. The professor then demonstrated the technology by placing some coffee beans and onions into the Smell-o-vision machine. He asked viewers to report whether they had smelled anything. As would be expected, several viewers called in from across the country to confirm that they had distinctly experienced these scents. Some even claimed that the onions made their eyes water!

2. Planetary alignment decreases gravity.

On April 1, 1976, BBC Radio 2 astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore, told listeners that at 9:47 a.m., Pluto, and Jupiter would align in such a way as to temporarily reduce Earth's gravity. Moore told listeners to jump at exactly that time to experience the once-in-a-lifetime effect. At 9:48, callers flooded the lines, eager to describe how they had briefly floated. News that Moore had played them, no doubt, brought everyone crashing back to earth!

3. The British Weather Machine

The Guardian reported that scientists at Britain's research labs in Pershore had "developed a machine to control the weather." A series of articles explained that "Britain will gain the immediate benefit of long summers, with rainfall only at night, and the Continent will have whatever Pershore decides to send it." Readers were also assured that Pershore scientists would make sure that it snowed every Christmas in Britain!

4. Big Ben goes digital

The BBC's overseas service reported that Big Ben was going to be given a digital readout. The same news report also claimed that the clock hands would be given away to the first four listeners to contact the station. One Japanese seaman in the mid-Atlantic immediately radioed in, hoping to be among the lucky callers.

5. Flying Penguins

The BBC announced that cameramen filming near the Antarctic for a natural history series had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet.

Presenter Terry Jones explained that these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun." A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.

6. Instant Color TV

Instant Color TV
Instant Color TV

At the time, SVT was the only television channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station announced that their "technical expert" was going to describe a process that would allow people to view color images on their existing black-and-white sets. 

Researchers, the guy said, had recently discovered that a fine-meshed screen placed in front of a black-and-white television screen would cause the light to bend in such a way that it would appear as if the image was in color. Nylon stockings, it turned out, were the perfect fabric to use as a fine-meshed screen.

Thousands of viewers later admitted they had fallen for the hoax. Many Swedes today report that they remember their parents (their fathers in particular) rushing through the house trying to find nylon stockings to place over the TV set.

7. World To End Tomorrow

On March 31, 1940, Philadelphia radio station KYW broadcast the following message:

“Your worst fears that the world will end are confirmed by astronomers of Franklin Institute, Philadelphia. Scientists predict that the world will end at 3 P.M. Eastern Standard Time tomorrow. This is no April Fool joke. Confirmation can be obtained from Wagner Schlesinger, director of the Fels Planetarium of this city.”

The announcement came after a radio program by Jack Benny that had been devoted to a discussion of how the world might end. The program had mentioned the name of Orson Welles, who had been responsible for the notorious War of the Worlds Panic Broadcast of 1938. The public reaction to KYW's announcement was dramatic. Newspapers, police stations, and the city's information bureau received hundreds of calls from frightened citizens.

8. Cooked Unicorn

The British Library's Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog announced the discovery of a long-lost medieval cookbook that included a recipe for cooked unicorn. "Taketh one unicorn," the cookbook instructed, then marinade it in cloves and garlic, and finally roast it on a griddle. The compiler of this cookbook was said to be one "Geoffrey Fule," who worked in the kitchens of Philippa of Hainault, Queen of England (1328-1369).

9. The Derbyshire Fairy

Images of an 8-inch mummified creature resembling a fairy were posted on the website of the Lebanon Circle Magik Co. Accompanying text explained how the creature had been found by a man walking his dog along an old roman road in rural Derbyshire. Word of this discovery soon spread around the internet. Bloggers excitedly speculated about whether the find was evidence of the actual existence of fairies. The Lebanon Circle website received tens of thousands of visitors and hundreds of emails. But at the end of the day, Dan Baines, the owner of the site, confessed that the fairy was a hoax. He had used his skills as a magician’s prop-maker to create the creature. Baines later reported that, despite his confession, he continued to receive numerous emails from people who refused to accept the fairy wasn’t real. He later sold the fairy to an American collector for £280.

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